January 23rd, 2023
To the members of the Society of the Middle Ages, Inc.
Many of you know me, my name is Paul Mitchell. Last night in a regular meeting of our Board of Directors, I was elected to be the new Chairman of the Board, succeeding Mr. Fred Zeiler.
I must first take this moment to salute the hard work of Mr. Zeiler and several other of our retiring Board members, Mr. Edward Janowski, Mr. Robert Coleman, and Mrs. Lori Parker. Their work, dedication and sacrifice over the past 12 months and more has been invaluable to our new organization, and they are owed my gratitude, that of the Board and the corporate officers, and of all our members. I wish them all joy and success in their next chapters as they continue to pursue our hobby, and build up our organization in important ways.
Mrs. Lori Parker will shortly be stepping down as President, and last night the Board also accepted the application of Brian Martin to succeed her. I think many of you also know Mr. Martin; as Sir William of Gloucester, he is the founder and seneschal of the Province of Solumbria, and is directly or indirectly responsible for recruiting scores of members. The process of transitioning that office to Mr. Martin will take some time, but I have been promised it will be completed by the end of February.
These changes are the beginning of what I intend to be a re-organization of our corporate structure, which I expect will lead to increased transparency, and clearer delineation of roles and responsibilities. Please bear with us, this society is still a work in progress. I have asked our board members to adopt “humility” as our virtue of emphasis for the year. We will work to serve our members as best we can.
I believe that as we enter this year, the top priorities for our society must be to:
- Develop our members, and recruit new members.
- Grow our branches, and found new branches.
- Hold more events.
Obviously, these priorities are interlinked. We don’t have events without branches to host them and members to attend them. Members need events to have something to join. It’s branches that hold events, and branches are made up of members. I’m asking each member to consider what they can do to support and grow their branch, make the next event (small or large) more successful, and think on how they can develop themselves, their skills, and their impression. A great achievement is the sum of many small efforts.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but I want to be very frank with you: I don’t believe that the long term success of our fledging group is yet assured. Our organization has had some early stumbles and missteps, encountered some obstacles, made some errors, and has already lost too many good people because of them. But I am confident of the good intentions of all our people, and I believe that if we all are working towards the simple priorities I’ve listed, that the SMA can survive and thrive, and be what it was conceived as: a safe place for us all to “get our medieval on” without having to consider the vagaries of modern political convention.
And I make you this promise: I have resolved that our society will not fail through lack of my own best efforts. I invite each of you to join me in this resolution.
Chairman, Board of Directors
Society of the Middle Ages, Inc.